Jun 13 2019

OIG Work Plan Monthly Updates (March-May 2019)

von Briesen continues to monitor the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (the "OIG") Work Plan to provide insight into emerging legal trends in health care. Health organizations are advised to use the Work Plan to identify the OIG's areas of interest and enforcement priorities, and to review and update policies and procedures accordingly.

This Legal Update summarizes some of the significant OIG Work Plan updates released for March, April and May 2019.

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May 21 2019

New "Conscience" Rules for Health Care Providers

Final rules to enforce the "Conscience Laws" were published on May 21, 2019, by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services ("HHS"). The so-called Conscience Laws are a series of previously enacted laws that allow health care workers to opt out of participating in certain health care activities that violate the worker's conscience or religious beliefs such as abortion, sterilization, and assisted suicide.1 The rules implement new enforcement mechanisms and provide greater specificity concerning what health care organizations need to do to ensure its workforce receives the protections afforded by the Conscience Laws.

San Francisco's city attorney has filed suit in federal court challenging the constitutionality of the rule. Nevertheless, the rule is set to become effective 60 days after publication, or July 22, 2019.

This Legal Update provides an overview of which providers are subject to the new rules and what the rule requires.

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